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GI Joe #176

Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: S.L. Gallant

GI Joe 176

Summary:

A team of Vipers storms an old Revanche Robotics assembly plant in Maine; discovering that the Blue Ninjas were mass-producing cyborgs with a "Fred" (Crimson Guard) template!

Storm Shadow, Snake-Eyes and Boris track down a lead on "Dr. Eleanor Tchen" of Rutgers, found last issue. They arrive at Dr. Tchen's house in Highland Park, New Jersey, which has already been visited by Cobra. Dead Vipers are everywhere. Storm Shadow and Snake-Eyes meet Dr. Tchen, thinking she's in shock. As they survey the place, they find a command module in the basement (possibly the one used by "BN-001" last issue). Dr. Tchen then reveals herself to be a Revanche Cyborg by snapping Boris's neck. Storm Shadow and Snake-Eyes fight her in the kitchen, and are on the ropes until the Baroness arrives to put down Tchen with some "high-velocity jacketed depleted uranium core boat-tail" ammo.

In Broca Beach, a purge seems to have occurred quitely; entire "Siegie" families have been wiped out by Revanche's imposter "Freds". Several Cobra troopers have reported that their Viper uniforms are missing. Finally, at the Pit, Scarlett, Stalker and Duke all decide to take some "leave time" so they can help out Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow.

Notes:

  • Dr. Tchen actually made a cameo appearance, last month, but this is her first "live" appearance. She appears to "die" this issue, but since she's a cyborg, who knows if that's official.
     
  • A text message informs Snake-Eyes that, while working at Rutgers, Tchen was awarded a grant from a Finnish company for her work on monofilaments.
     
  • Tchen can do creepy stuff, like extend her neck and twist around in weird positions. Think of her like the female Terminator robot from "Teminator 3".
     
  • Boris is apparntly killed as well. We do not get a visual nor vocal confirmation on this, so there's still a chance he's alive.
     
  • When the Baroness shows up, she's wearing her trademark leather garb, but sans Cobra logo. She also mentions that "residual emotions" about her involvement with Billy have prompted her into action.
     
  • The Vipers travel around Jersey in mini-vans marked with "Broca Beach Community Service Committee".
     
  • In the Maine factory, the Vipers notice that one level has lower ceilings, since it's where the children worked. EVIL!
     
  • Cobra Commander shows some actual emotion, for perhaps the first time since his return from the dead in issue 99. He shows genuine rage and alast for vengeance as he chews out Dr. Mindbender abotu tracking down the Blue Ninjas.
     
  • Darklon is shown mumbling the words: "Tchen! No... double-O-one-no!" This, combined with the basement command module, sorta' implies that Tchen is/was "BN-001". Entirely possible that Darklon's talking about TWO different people, as well. That's my guess.
     
  • As we'll discover in this month's "Annual", there are several series of Crimson Guardsmen. The "Freds" have been the most common, but there's also a "Ted" series... and who knows how many else. I wouldn't put it past Hama if they could be defined as "Jed", "Ned", etc.
     
  • Now that the "Freds" are firmly tied in, I think there will be a connection to the original "Fred Broca" (who died at Snake-Eyes' cabin, in issue 32). The grudge against the Arashikage that I wondered about is there, after all-- his family could blame Snake-Eyes (and the Soft Master or even Firefly) for their dad/father's death. Maybe Dr. Tchen was the original Fred's wife?
     
  • Remember, when Fred V1 died, a new version showed up at their house and said he was now their dad. I could see how that'd freak out a kid or wife and make them hate both Cobra and the Arashikages.
     
  • The cover is sort of a horizontal triptych with the words "Il Buono" (Snake-Eyes), "La Cattiva" (Baroness) and "Il Brutto" (Cobra Commander)-- Italian for "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly".
     
  • I'm scoring this one at "4 Flag Points", simply because I'm diging all the plot thickening with the Blue Ninjas/Revanche. There's hardly an inch of wasted space in this issue. Honestly, this is the kind of stuff that I've missed about "GI Joe" and I'm glad it's back.

Appearances:

Characters (figures): Snake-Eyes, Storm Shadow, Scarlett, Stalker, Duke, Mainframe, Law (cameo), Baroness, Cobra Commander, Dr. Mindbender, Darklon (cameo)

Characters ("comic-only"):Middle Master ("Boris"), Dr. Eleanor Tchen

Vehicles and stuff (toys): Cobra HISS (cameo), Cobra Stinger (cameo)
Vehicles and stuff (not toys):none to speak of

Firsties:
Characters: Dr. Eleanor Tchen
Vehicles and stuff: none

Rating: 4 Flag Points

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